Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

open source == $0.00?

Author:Steve Bogart
Posted:8/27/1999; 12:43:34 PM
Topic:GIFs get expensive
Msg #:10143 (In response to 10136)
Prev/Next:10142 / 10144

Meanwhile the open-source crowd is giving away great software and making money anyway.

This continues to puzzle me... open-source advocates emphasize that their software DOESN'T have to be free-as-in-beer, yet the most common case seems to be that open-source software is given away free of charge.

Which leads me to two questions, given that I've got a darn useful set of code I'd like to prepare for release and would like to Do It Right (and am still stuck as to what that means, exactly):

  1. What examples are there of open source packages (GPLed in particular) which are not free of charge? By this I mean packages that require you to pay for a license, not cases like RedHat charging for the physical media. Are there any? If not, why is the fiction perpetuated that it's (flFreeLikeSpeech and not flFreeLikeBeer)?

  2. For such products (if they exist), how does the >$0.00 (but Free) status affect the use of that code in customers' other projects? Does the code writer get a license fee every time an adapted version of his/her code is used in a different project or on a different server?

I'd like to release my code and give folks the right to modify it all they want for their own purposes but still see some benefit for having done the hard parts.

And I know the line about making the product free but charging for support and printed docs, but if that's the only workable model, again: why does everyone say open source != $0.00?

There are responses to this message:

This page was archived on 6/13/2001; 4:52:13 PM.

© Copyright 1998-2001 UserLand Software, Inc.